After landing to the UK for a few days, finally been able to catch up our schedule and sharing this wonderful experience we have in Southwater, West Sussex. In this trip we are traveling to see the new build Broadacres by Berkeley, walking around the high street to enjoy local cafes and more importantly to retreat at a lovely AirBnb.
1.New Build Broadacres
Roger has been able to do great research around this area in Horsham, we found the build is having great proximity to Infant, Primary and Secondary state schools (data from Locrating). Our sales rep Gay mentioned “Why putting yourself into the trouble to Grammar School?”
Aside from Education, Crime Rate, Living Standard and Amenities around are also in good ratings (>80~90%) (data from Xploria). This is also one reason why Berkeley Development is often more expensive than the rest of new builds due to their good choices of location. Again, thanks to Roger showing me these ways of researching a place!
The house type we are viewing is a 4 bedrooms Town House Guillemot at 675K GBP. This is a special return to market property as it’s the only one left in Phase 3.1, expected to complete by September 2022. Let’s talking about our likes and dislikes.
Tip for new build viewings in UK: Berkeley development’s showhome are showing everything they included as “Standard” package, meaning buyers do not need to add money to opt for “upgrade” in the fixtures and flooring. It does saves buyers a lot of trouble going through the calculations.
What we like:
Inside the House – Carpet flooring, spacious 4 bedrooms and kitchen, kitchen has complimentary kitchen island, good size of sinks, Simen’s kitchenware, a side living room on the left of entrance which would make it a great room for elders from Hong Kong to stay in.
Around the build – Sports playing field, Co-Op, Tesco and Waitrose in 10 minutes drive, Railway has been turned into a pleasant walking trail for the neighborhood. Good school networks that could take our daughter staying for >10 years until high school. Good neighborhood as there are at least 3-4 Hong Kong families in the same build, that does create a sense of belonging.
What I concern personally:
Inside the house – The main living room is locating at 2/F of the build, to most Hong Kong people this might not be the best layout we are used to, more about the ups and downs walking for parents who came to travel and stay. Roger also thinks town house’s entrance and building design in comparison to semi-detach or detach is less decorative.
Around the build – About 3 streets away there is an Cemetery and Church in small scale, frankly I would feel slightly spooky. The Maternity hospital is locating in Worthing which takes ~30 minutes drive to there.
Overall speaking, this development certainly tops our list. As our journey would move along to Surrey, Wokingham, Reading and Milton Keynes. As the moment we would keep in mind to make reservation in 3 weeks time.
2. Great experience in AirBnb Southwater
The location we went to is at The Fords, Bonfire Hill. (Link here if you are travelling to Southwater). To my surprise this Annex, a countryside cottage, is extremely lovely, clean and having a very pleasant hosts Paula and her mother Daphne. Upon our arrival, we are seeing a huge and well mowed lawn with 3 cute puppies around! Paula and Daphne happen to gather around the entrance and greet us warmly.
Inside the Annex, after an hour long drive we found home Shortbread Bakery by Daphne (AMAZING TASTE!), ground coffee and milk all prepared as a warm welcome gesture. Flowers are just all over inside the Annex, spacious in Kitchen, Living Room and the bedroom is just adjacent to the garden capturing all the sunshine.
If you wish, there is a garden table right outside the main door, or outside the French Door connected from the bedroom. We spent a morning having our breakfast outside our bedroom and eating with a view.
Bathroom is also clean and with all body cream and shower gel ready, warm and thick towels and enough hot water…
We cooked a dinner at the Annex, cooking tools like utensils, pots and dishes are more than enough. There is also a dishwashing machine we could use to enjoy the rest of our evening after cooking and cleaning up.
Overall speaking I would give a 4.5 stars out of 5 for this Airbnb experience!
3. Overall comments about Southwater and Horsham (in view of a HongKonger)
Southwater is definitely a relatively remote but lovely town with it’s packed nature. Green lawns are everywhere and when we drove, the tree avenues are all over like a Peter Pan dreamland. However the amenities around would be highly relying on Horsham, the shire district in 10 minutes drive.
Amenities such as Supermarkets, Sports Club, Shopping Center are mostly developing around Horsham. Although you could find a Co-op in Southwater, a cute Chinese restaurant and Indian Buffet as well as an Italian restaurant and a cafe, I believe if anyone chooses to settle in Southwater to enjoy the fabulous view would also go to Horsham town center Swan Walk very often.
At Horsham, people are very nice and we have a sense that everyone is kinda knowing each other since this district is not a huge one. Thus everybody paying respect to each other, and always putting a smile on their faces. They are also friendly, educated and welcoming to non-locals (like us!) For example when we are inside the elevator without knowing we need to press the buttons to go G/F for 2 times, someone coming in afterwards had helped us in a very friendly way.
I am unsure if eventually we would choose to settle here, but if we do, I could guarantee it would be a very pleasant long stay could up to 10 years more…